I consider myself a fairly mellow person. I try to always stay calm, and not let what other people are doing bother me. But there are some things, that just makes me want to yell. Bad driving is one of those things. I never honk my horn or flip people off, but I will yell and get mad in the safety of my own car. But another thing that makes me fume, is bad theater etiquette. I don’t freak out at every small noise. I don’t mind people laughing at funny moments in the movie. I actually find it hilarious when people scream during a horror movie. But there are certain things people do, that are just asinine. People who are completely inconsiderate of the other moviegoers around them. I remember my worst theater experience was during Batman vs Superman, and it wasn’t just because that movie was hot garbage. A group of kids down the aisle from me were literally on IPads, with full-screen brightness. I mean I understand the movie is boring, but how can anyone think that is an ok thing to do? Their father was snoring loudly. The group of people behind me were talking the entire time, and people would cheer anytime some named character appeared. And I am socially awkward and afraid of confrontation, so I sat there, quietly fuming.
Here are the most annoying habits some people have in the theater.
10. The person Who Sits Right in Front of you
In a crowded theater, there is no expectation that you will get an empty chair in front of you. But many time when I see movies, there are a lot of empty seats. But for some reason, the one empty seat in front of me, is a magnet in a sea of open seats. I will be leaning back, with my feet propped up against the back of the chair in front of me. My view is unobstructed, it is perfect. Then, someone else walks into the theater. I think there is no way they will sit in front of me. But then they walk up to the row in front of mine. I take my feet off the back of the chair just in case, but surely, they will not sit in the chair directly in front of me, not when every other chair in the aisle is empty. But sure enough, that is what they do. And then they lean back and prop their feet off on the chair in front of them. Really?
This is the equivalent of passing every open urinal, to use the urinal right next to somebody else. Be aware of your surroundings. When a theater is mostly empty, leave some buffer room.
9. Saving a Row of Seats
I understand saving a few seats for friends who show up a little late. I have left my coat on a chair or left one seat in between a friend and me, to save a spot for another friend who is coming from further away. But there is a limit. You do not get to save an entire row of seats for your friends that probably are not all coming. If you have that many people showing up, then maybe you should all show up early.
This goes into another annoying trend of the person who shows up late. There are about 20 minutes of trailers in modern movies. Is it really that hard to get to the theater within 20 minutes of the showtime? Showing up during the opening scene, and trying to scope out the one open seat, and making people get up, is not cool. Get there before the trailers are over.
8. Multiple Bathroom Breaks
How tiny are some of your bladders? Is it really that hard to hold in your pee for 2 hours? Maybe, if you didn’t drink an entire liter of soda, you wouldn’t have to get up to pee every 15 minutes.
Usually, I would not care about someone’s pee schedule. But when I have to stand up to let you in and out constantly, I start to notice. If you are someone with a weak bladder, maybe you should show up early, to save an aisle seat. Or maybe you should go see a doctor because it is not normal to have to pee that much. I haven’t had to get up to pee in the middle of a movie since I was a kid. I pee before the movie, or I pee after the movie. What have some of you been drinking that you have so little control?
I suppose it may not only be bathroom breaks. But regardless of what reason you are getting up, stop it. Interruptions in the middle of the movie are to be kept to a minimum. I don’t care if you are going to have a smoke, going to refill on snacks, or what. In the 2 hours between when the trailers end and the credits roll, you should be in your seat, except for emergencies. I didn’t pay $12 to see you butt squeeze passed me 8 times.
7. The Chair Kicker
Why? Why does anyone think this is okay? As I said earlier, if there is no one in the seats in front of me, I will rest my feet on the back of the chair. But I would never put my feet on a chair someone is sitting in. I am a human asshole, not a savage.
But some people take it a step further and will kick the chair. One would think it is usually kids who do this, but I have had adults, continually bump and kick my chair. If it is a kid, I blame the parent for not handling their child. But an adult has no excuse. There is usually more than enough leg room. Unless you are Shaq, your legs will it in the aisle, without bumping the chair in front of you. One should not have to ask someone to not kick their chair. It should be assumed no one wants to sit in the shittiest massage chair ever.
6. Parents not Dealing With Crying Kids
If a parent wants to give their little kids nightmares by bringing them to the r rated horror flick, that is their business. But when they start crying, please, handle it. I know that raising a kid is hard. And someone should be able to be a parent and still be able to go out and see a movie. But the crying children in the middle of a movie needs to stop.
Bringing a baby, into a big blockbuster film, that is bound to have a lot of loud scenes, that are prime to upset a small child, is not the best idea. I have seen parents let their child cry,. No attempt to bring them outside the theater to calm them down. Just let them wail, and distract the entire theater.
5. Leaving a Giant Mess
The theater hires custodians for a reason. there is going to be a little bit of a mess after a movie. But there is no reason to make their job harder. Kicking over the giant tub of popcorn is obnoxious. Throwing your wrappers and soda cups on the ground, when you could easily throw them away yourself on the way out, is childish. Throwing popcorn and other snacks at the screen is prickish.
Most of you are adults, act like it. You don’t need people picking up after you. If you spill a little popcorn or lose some pieces of candy, you do not need to go crawling around the floor to pick it up, but don’t leave more of a mess than you need to. There is a notion called common courtesy, and it is owed to custodians.
4. Over the Top Laughter
Laughing at a funny scene in a movie is normal. It would be weird for a theater to be silent during a comedic moment. But then there are times when it seems like Fran Drescher is in the theater. Some people want to make sure everyone hears their laugh and the cackle like a hyena.
There is a Will Ferrel sketch from when he was on SNL, where his character had voice modulation issues, and he was way too loud. Every time I am in a theater with someone whose laugh is louder than the actual movie, it makes me think of that sketch. Lower your voice. Stop trying to get attention. the movie isn’t about you. If I can pick out your laugh, from an entire theater of people laughing, you are too loud.
This could also go into the people who scream loudly in horror movies. That does not bother me as much, as I see it as part of the horror movie theater experience, but I can see it bothering other people. I find it hilarious when someone in the theater is a sissy who screams at everything, but it is still a bit obnoxious.
3. Clapping and Cheering
Clapping makes sense in an actual theater, with people performing. Clapping and cheering is meant to show gratitude for the people who are performing for you. Though I should note, that is still inappropriate to clap during a play or musical in the middle of a scene, but that is beside the point I am making here.
Clapping in a theater. makes no sense. Who are you clapping for? The director, the actors, and the crew, are not here. Maybe it will make sense if it was at a premiere where the cast and director are present. It makes sense at festivals to clap at the end of a movie, but this is not what we are talking about. I am talking about people who clap and cheer in a regular movie theater. And it isn’t even so much the clapping at the end of the movie, but these people who clap and cheer during a movie. Some big moment happens, or there is a big reveal, and people feel the need to cheer. It is especially prevalent in Marvel and Star Wars movies. People cheered when Han Solo showed up in Force Awakens. People cheered when Ever character was introduced in Infinity War. It is annoying. It is not for anyone, it is just obnoxious fanboys distracting from the movie. I miss lines in the movie because I cant hear it over the cheering. In plays, there are applause breaks for a reason, so the applause does not distract from the dialogue. Movies do not have applause breaks, so you are cheering through it, so no one can hear it. Douche Bags.
Between talking and phones, it is tough to tell what is worse. But for me, I put talking as second to worse, but it is still awful. There are different types of talkers, all of them annoying in their own way.
There are people who feel the need to narrate the movie. But the thing is, this is not Mystery Science Theater. I did not pay for a commentary track, nor do I want one from you. I do not need to hear your remarks on the movie. I am fine with little whispers, I am guilty of that myself. I will mumble to myself about things that annoy me at times, but some people seem to not know how to whisper. keep your voice down, and your opinions to yourself. There are some movies where the remarks are appropriate, like in movies like The Happening, or The Room, where the entire idea is that people are watching it to make fun of it, but in general, it is annoying.
There is also the people who feel the need to have a personal conversation in the theater. In which case, may I invite you to take this conversation outside? You clearly are not paying attention to the movie, and you are annoying everyone else. Either wait until the end of the movie or leave.
Point is, I do not want to hear your voice. The theater is not a place to socialize. It is a place to watch a freaking movie.
TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!
I do not want to see the light from your screen. I do not want to hear the typing of the keyboard. I do not want to see your phone. If you are incapable of putting your phone in your pocket and leaving it there for a couple hours, then do not go see a movie.
You may think that because your phone is on silent, that you are not causing a problem, but we can all see your screen turning on and off. Even if the brightness is down, it is a dark room. The only source of light in the room is the movie screen. So if there is suddenly a new source of light, it is very easy to see. Even if you are in the corner, we can all see your screen flickering in our peripherals. Put it away. You do not need to text. Why are you even going to the theater if you are going to be looking at your phone the whole time?
Even worse, are the people so careless, that they don’t even silence their phones. They remind you to turn the phone to silent. How can someone forget that? Way to ruin the moment by letting your awful ringtone go off in the middle of the important scene. Way to break the immersion.